Apple MacBook shipping dates are slipping, amid rumours of an imminent refresh
Apple will refresh its entire MacBook line-up next week during its annual developer conference, reports suggest.
The Cupertino-based company is tipped to unveil a bumper crop of new laptops at its annual developer conference.
The World Wide Developers Conference, WWDC, hasn't seen a new hardware launch for some four years, but sources speaking to Bloomberg believe that could be about to change.
Availability for the 15-inch MacBook Pro has purportedly started to slip ahead of the World Wide Developer Conference.
Apple updated its online store this week, pushing back estimated delivery dates to June 5th.
Coincidentally, that's the same day as the opening keynote for Apple's World Wide Developer Conference.
Delivery dates for the latest generation MacBook Pro have slipped to after the WWDC keynote
When ordered in the United States today, the 15-inch MacBook Pro shows an estimated delivery of June 6th to 8th with free shipping – and June 5th to 7th with priority shipping.
Similar delivery dates are being shown in other key markets, including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK.
According to Apple Insider, countries such as Brazil, Canada, China and Mexico are showing dispatch times of some 3 to 5 business days for the same MacBook models.
The supply constraints appear to only be affecting the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models.
However tipsters believe Apple will refresh its entire laptop range during the WWDC conference.
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WWDC 2017 will take place next month in San Jose, California
Sources speaking to the publication claim Apple will upgrade its razor-thin 12-inch MacBook with a "faster Intel chip", most likely the Y-series Core i5 and i7 CPUs.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro – which was first unveiled some six months ago, on October 27th 2016 – is also rumoured to get a processor bump.
The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros will purportedly be bumped to Intel's seventh-generation Core (dubbed Kaby Lake) with little external changes to the hardware.
Apple is also rumoured to upgrade the MacBook Air.
That's a surprise, since many believed the laptop was living on borrowed time and would soon be dropped from the company's product line-up entirely.
WWDC could see Apple introduce a processor bump across its MacBook range
Speaking to Bloomberg, one of the insiders claimed Apple had "considered" updating the 13-inch Air with a new processor in response to sales of the ageing machine, which continue to be "surprisingly strong".
There's no mention of a Retina Display or other dramatic hardware shake-ups, which is not surprising.
Apple clearly wants customers to think of the 13-inch MacBook Pro as the true successor to the MacBook Air, which has almost reached the end of its lifecycle.
It's clear that if the rumours are true, the update to the MacBook Air would be a maintenance update and not a substantial hardware overhaul.
But still, it means those who decide to opt for a MacBook Air this summer would not be buying a £949 laptop that hasn't seen a refresh since March 2015.
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Although the 12-inch MacBook would likely fit the needs of most MacBook Air customers – the £300 price difference and lack of USB-A ports and SD card reader might understandably put off a number of potential buyers.
Elsewhere, Apple will likely preview the next versions of its major operating systems, including iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS.
It has been suggested Apple could unveil an Amazon Echo rival at its conference as well.
Bloomberg recently reported that some key Apple employees have already been testing this new device inside their homes for several months.
This Siri-powered speaker would likely to go on sale as a premium product and include a much higher price than the Echo.
It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology, and is expected to run an variant iOS
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Making the announcement at WWDC would make sense for Apple as it would give the company time to enlist developers to build applications for the new device.
Apple already owns headphone and speaker brand, Beats, plus millions of people now subscribe to Apple Music making this an easy win for the technology firm
Along with this speaker there's a chance we may see a new iPad launched next month.
Apple's World Wide Developers Conference runs from June 5th to 9th in San Jose, California.